Your resume has to accomplish a lot in this economy.
It needs to speak in the right language, it needs to tell the story of your personal brand and it needs to focus on the right thing (hint: it’s not you or your work history).
But, when push comes to shove, your resume really needs four key things. Every single one of these is a key step in the process of getting hired.
If your resume fails to do pass one of these steps, you will get rejected.
Harsh, but true.
So, let’s get to the four things.
Talk to Computer Algorithms
The first hurdle to getting hired is often getting through a computer program that determines if you are “qualified” for a position. If your resume doesn’t effectively talk to this computer program, your resume may never be seen by a human!
Talking to a computer program is easy when you know how to do it, but it is something that you need to think about when you submit your resume to an open position. (you can learn more about how to do that by clicking here)
Is your resume optimized to get through computer programs?
Pass a 10 Second Resume Scan
When faced with a daunting pile of resumes (many positions attract 100+ applicants), both HR and hiring managers often start with a 5-10 second scan of your resume.
In other words, you need to communicate why you are a great candidate immediately. An easy way to do this is by using a format that draws attention to the points you want to highlight first.
Does your resume communicate your awesome-ness factor immediately?
Get Through an HR Checklist
HR is looking to minimize risk and give the hiring manager a list of candidates that are clearly qualified and capable of doing the work.
This means that before you can impress a hiring manager, you need to get through corporate defense.
HR professionals frequently work with a checklist for each position (most of which mirror the qualifications section of the application). When your resume makes it clear and easy for HR to check the boxes, you improve your chances of getting your resume to the hiring manager (and, in turn, getting hired!)
Does your resume make it easy for HR to check off their list?
Wow a Hiring Manager
Like HR, hiring managers start with a 5-10 second scan through your resume. But, then, they dig deeper, spending 5 to 10 minutes with your application.
For hiring managers, it’s key to not only state your skills and your qualifications, but also to give context to your work and your achievements. They’ll want to understand the projects you worked on, the goals that you set and and the challenges you faced.
You can think of the first four things your resume needing to do to be all about results. Tangible skills you have. Years spent in an industry. Physical results you’ve earned. So, you’ll want these things to be emphasized.
But, it’s imperative that you also give context to these achievements for the more in depth review of your resume by the hiring manager. Hiring managers want enough information to show (not tell) your expertise.
Hiring managers want to be wowed.
Does your resume wow a potential hiring manager and give them a reason to bring you in for an interview?
When your resume does these four things, your chances of getting hired will skyrocket, guaranteed.
Rebecca Rapple has been featured in Harvard Business Review, Business Insider, Keith Ferrazzi’s My Greenlight and more. You can learn more about the fundamentals of a remarkable job search on her site, The Resume Revolution.